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acorn squash with chili-lime vinaigrette

October 12, 2010

When my mom makes acorn squash (which she usually does at least once this time of year), she makes it into a dessert. She fills that little hollow with brown sugar and maple syrup and I get to pretend that my veggie is a baked good. (As opposed to the peas recipe, where I pretended they were meat.) And oh crap, it is yummy.

However, Chris had been given a batch of chilies from his coworker’s garden a few weeks back, and he wanted to put some of them (minus the ghost chile, which most sane people can’t handle) to use. And, uh, chilies don’t go so well with brown sugar and maple syrup. So he found this alternative for acorn squash on Smitten Kitchen.

And you know what? It’s very, very different, but also very yummy. It was a little odd eating something that I’m used to having sweetened and having it taste salty and spicy, instead. But it shriveled up so nice and prettily and absorbed the flavors so well that I almost didn’t notice. Well, except that if you ever tried to serve this to me for dessert, I might punch your lights out.

As Deb suggested, we also toasted the acorn squash seeds and roasted them with some green beans, which was similarly delicious. Yayyy recycling!

Acorn Squash with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette
2 (1 1/2- to 1 3/4-lb.) acorn squash
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh hot chile, including seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Halve squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard stem ends. Scoop out seeds and cut squash lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges. [Be careful on that step! It required all of Chris’s chopping skillz to get through those beasts.] Toss squash with black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl, then arrange, cut sides down, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Roast squash, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until squash is tender and undersides of wedges are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.
2. While squash roasts, mince garlic and mash to a paste with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice, chile (to taste), cilantro, and remaining 1/4 cup oil until combined. Transfer squash, browned sides up, to a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

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